The Ethereum Foundation (EF) has announced its plans to shut down three of its major testnets after the much anticipated “The Merge” event that will transition the protocol fully to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) model.
According to a Blog Post from the foundation, the three testnets that will be deprecated in the long run includes Kiln, Rinkeby, and Ropsten testnets respectively.
Testnets are a very vital part of the functioning of the Ethereum network as they serve as a mini blockchain where key tests about products and upgrades can be carried out before they are deployed to the mainnet. Several testnets exist on the Ethereum network and the choice of these three that will be deprecated is so that the core developers can focus their attention on a few they can manage adequately.
Per the announcement shared, Kiln, the youngest of the three testnets that will be fizzled out will be the first to be shut down immediately after The Merge is completed. This testnet was developed as a post-merge testing environment and once it serves its purpose, the developers will have no reason to keep maintaining it, as a result, the Ethereum Foundation has advised against using Kiln as a testnet for the long term.
The proposed timeline for the deprecation of the Ropsten testnet is pegged around the fourth quarter of this year. Rinkeby is billed to be the last to be shut down, with the proposed timeline for this pegged at around the second-third quarter of 2023. The EF has affirmed that Rinkeby will not run through The Merge and that it will not be an accurate staging environment for the mainnet.
Ethereum Foundation to Maintain Goerli and Sepolia Testnets
Per the announcement, only the Goerli and Sepolia testnets will be maintained after The Merge has been completed. While the developers said Goerli is on track to merge with the Prater Beacon Chain testnet, they confirmed that a new Beacon Chain has been created to transition Sepolia to proof-of-stake.
Sepolia was created specifically to replace the Rinkeby testnet, and the latter is scheduled to be shut down exactly one year after Sepolia has been fully transitioned to Proof-of-Stake.
While the developers and users of the Ethereum blockchain may be confused about which of the two priority testnets to make use of, the EF clarified that Goerli is useful for large state and complex upgrade testing that requires a longer time to sync with a need for large storage. Sepolia will be particularly useful for users who want to test staking features before moving to the mainnet. Sepolia is lighter and requires little storage space.
“Two testnets, Goerli and Sepolia, will be maintained going forward. Goerli is recommended for stakers to test protocol upgrades and developers who want to interact with a large existing state. Sepolia is recommended for users and developers who want a lighter weight chain to sync to and interact with,” the Ethereum Foundation confirmed.